Senior residents from Valley Manor, along with students from St. John Fisher College, hosted a Career Day for School No. 20 — Henry Lomb Elementary School — students on April 8 at Valley Manor.
The collaboration is the culmination of a semester-long sociology class at Fisher, “Helping Professions in Action.”
Residents from Valley Manor, part of Episcopal SeniorLife Communities, and students from Fisher worked together this semester through a structured curriculum that incorporated hands-on service learning. As part of their exploration of human services needs in the community, Fisher students partnered with seniors of Valley Manor to create a program for RCSD students.
The team combined the philanthropy and non-profit experience of residents with the student’s knowledge of new approaches to social work in multicultural communities. They held a Day at Fisher for Henry Lomb Elementary School students to give them exposure to college, and this vocation day is an opportunity for them to learn about various professions. This is the fourth year of the partnership and the second year of incorporating “Career Day”.
“Discovering and meeting the needs of children and working with members of the community helps our students develop as professionals and citizens,” said Professor Patricia Tweet, instructor for the course.
The partnership between Valley Manor and Henry Lomb School has been strong since 2005, and there are a number of Valley Manor seniors who serve as tutors, others make generous donations to the school.
“Career Day at Valley Manor is a wonderful example of reciprocity and mutual benefit through service-learning,” said Lynn Donahue, assistant director, Institute for Civic and Community Engagement at St. John Fisher College. “St. John Fisher students and Valley Manor residents together learn how to organize and run an event that provides the students of Henry Lomb School with assistance from the teachers and exposure to careers. It also is a great tie-in to the Day at Fisher event as the children learn the link between college majors and careers. This project demonstrates the positive impact of intergenerational collaborations.”
“The residents at Valley Manor truly value the partnership with Fisher and School No. 20, and are pleased to be able to support both groups of students in a variety of ways,” said Gail Reeves, manager of resident services. “We enjoyed hosting Career Day again this year as an addition to the annual end-of-year celebration and the opportunity to spend time with students outside of the classroom.”